PARIS — Deep within the bowels of the Palais de Tokyo, a constructing devoted to trendy artwork, down a again stairway strafed with graffiti and thru many a wandering corridor, Rick Owens was leaning towards a wall on Thursday afternoon, contemplating doom.
“It’s a doomy moment,” he stated, “in a doomy era. We’ve all been thinking the system got so oversaturated, it had to go bust at some point. This is it.”
Then he smiled.
Because his consideration of doom had gotten him desirous about his doomy adolescence in Porterville, Calif., the place he had felt stifled by conservatism and located aid within the music of the English singer Gary Numan. So this winter he had emailed Mr. Numan out of the blue, and requested if he might use a few of his authentic tracks — one thing deeply private — for a present, and Mr. Numan had stated “sure,” dug them up out of his supervisor’s basement, and despatched them over.
Sometimes even the blackest clouds have a silver lining. Not a foul reminder, proper about now. After all, stated Mr. Owens, nowadays “I’m in Paris, and I get to be as exotic as I want.” He broke free!
He’s not the one one.
There’s a push-pull of dire prophesying and optimism within the air. Plenty of darkish, dungeonlike settings, that also, on the finish, let the sunshine in. Virgil Abloh set his Off-White present round upended automobiles, sawed in half to create an automotive graveyard — or perhaps a visible quote of Cadillac Ranch in Texas — forged in an eerie purple mild. Julien Dossena held his Paco Rabanne present within the vaulted netherland of the Conciergerie, the place Marie Antoinette was held prisoner. We hold taking place, down, down, after which up.
For Mr. Owens — who had a Marie Antoinette-ish second of his personal when his spouse, Michèle Lamy, appeared at his present clutching a purse that was a facsimile of his (severed) head — this meant lengthy, slithery, one-sleeved (generally one-breasted) cashmere knit robes minimize virtually to the hip on one aspect and tangling across the ankle on the opposite, worn over bodysuits and thigh-excessive platform boots. Smart little jackets with shoulders that dusted the earlobes, and sleeves that dangled to mid-thigh. Also recycled-plastic slickers, chartreuse snakeskin separates and cerulean blue satin. Plus sweeping king-measurement puffer capes, a trickle-down results of his current collaboration with Moncler, and Art Deco strains.
In the Owens canon, they virtually all certified as wearable; they had been, regardless of the acute geometry, notably balanced.
At Off-White, it meant Hadids of all ages (Bella and Gigi and mom Yolanda) plus different well-known fashions (Karlie Kloss and Alek Wek and Carolyn Murphy) in a little bit of this, a little bit of that: slick sapphire-and-white cow-print pencil skirts and trench coats; hallucinogenic houndstooth-verify suiting; mint inexperienced leather-based jumpsuits and amethyst knits; billowing tulle ball robes spliced on prime with Arc’teryx technical jackets, the taffeta of the outside rec world. (Then, on the finish, a bathe of spangled confetti, like a commencement get together for the segue out of streetwear.)
At Paco Rabanne, it meant shedding the 1960s sci-fi futurism that has change into a cliché of the model to attach its chain mail to Joan of Arc, and the thought of an avenging angel. Hooded silver and gold robes had the drape of vestments and the dedication of the true believer. Between them got here austere black and grey suiting with the ruff of a clerical collar peeking out; lacy chemise clothes and tapestry brocades. In trying again, Mr. Dossena took an incredible leap ahead.
And at Loewe, it meant Jonathan Anderson slip-sliding by way of centuries and particulars into some unknown, however very enticing, future. Infanta parts — bell sleeves, abstracted pannier hips, corsets — met Chrysler Building curves met craft (met cumulus feather hoods). Gold and emerald material bubbled and draped round a ceramic breastplate by the Japanese artist Takuro Kuwata, there was some Three Musketeers-reminiscent suiting, and a Maid Marian cream knit sweater costume that sported sleeves in three fluted tiers spilled with watery blue beads.
Afterward Mr. Anderson talked concerning the English painter Bridget Riley and Kyoto and the 1940s, however the lingering impression left was one in every of royalty misplaced — and, maybe, regained. Albeit in a special, extra melting pot kind. One that depends much less on a mandate of the heavens or bloodline, and extra on sheer invention.
“The act of creativity is an act of hope in itself,” Mr. Owens had stated earlier than his present. On with their heads.